That was fast


{ Read the whole thing here. }

Actually, it looks like Mr. Lively completed his work in a little more than 12 months:

So, to sum up: Mr. Lively has evidently raised boatloads of money in a soft economy during a capital campaign that he originally believed would last two or three years (and he’s a fundraising veteran), yet his “mission” is “accomplished” in only one year. Also, he raised all that money (sum not specified) with virtually no public recognition thus far of the huge gifts National Geographic must be receiving from generous philanthropists.

That’s amazing – and a powerful testament to Mr. Lively’s prodigious talents, John Fahey’s clear vision, and the wonderful reputation that the National Geographic Society still seems to enjoy.

Congratulations to the whole team!

(P.S. I wonder what it’s like to fundraise for an organization where Rupert Murdoch is such a towering financial presence.)


Update, 19 October 2013

From The Dallas Morning News, 7 April 2012:


  • Commenter582264

    Do I sense some sarcasm in your article? 😉 As of a few months ago, I’m not aware of Mr. Lively having made any serious progress on his goals. He must have found a generous donor with VERY deep pockets over the summer.

    • Not sarcasm as much as skepticism.

      Bill Lively said he thought this job would require three to four years to complete (see update, above). He sold his house in Dallas for the move to Washington. His goal was to raise “hundreds of millions of dollars” for an organization that typically raises a tiny fraction of that amount. And a little more than 12 months after his arrival at NGS, he’s leaving?

      I think it’s fair to say there are a lot of questions yet to be answered.

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